Marks and Remarks
Food for the Mind and Eye

No. 0024, February 16, 2015

DEPT. OF GERONTOLOGY


The Joy of Old Age



Copyright 2015 by S. W. Paul Wyszkowski

     There is a Polish proverb: "Starosc nie radosc" ("Old age is no joy" which happens to rhyme in Polish). For people who take life and themselves seriously this is probably true. Not so for addleheaded fools such as I. I am too dumb to realize the seriousness of my situation as I march heedlessly into my ninth decade in blissful disregard of the many perils and discontents of old age of which my more discriminating contemporaries are acutely cognizant. I know, I know, I should act my age, but I'm enjoying being such as I am too much to mind the proprieties of being eighty. To me it's all one big adventure. I'm like a kid on an expedition into unknown territory that is full of new marvels. Dangers, too, but, fool that I am, I am confident I can handle whatever comes. I don't see the universe as my adversary - rather as an exciting place to explore. And I foolishly trust my luck which has held so far for eighty years.

     The joy of old age for me is in being essentially back to carefree childhood except much better equipped to appreciate and enjoy it. I had failed to grow up, which was a real hindrance during my working years but now is paying handsome dividends. And I note that this week's Time reports that there is evidence that the more people enjoy their old age the more years of it they're likely to have to enjoy. Not that I'm counting on it but it doesn't hurt to be on the side of the angels of science.

     "That's all very well," says Prickles,"but what about your legacy? Is the world better off for having you live in it?" That, Prickles, is above my pay grade. I'm not losing any sleep over it. The world will have to sort it out for itself. I can tell you, though, I am certainly better off for having lived in it. "Oh," she says.




Copyright 2015 by S. W. Paul Wyszkowski



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